Lari Ramires and Pedro Molina are the third generation of two rival bakeries, Salt and Sugar, in Olinda, Brazil. The story starts with Lari’s beloved grandmother passing away and Lari trying to navigate a life in the baking world after her grandmother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough for young Lari to deal with, there’s also a new supermarket chain in town threatening the livelihood of the families who own Salt and Sugar. Lari quickly realizes that the two competing bakeries just might have to come together to save their family businesses, but can a Ramires ever truly trust a Molina?
This YA book took me by surprise in the best way. Even though this story is told from Lari’s POV, you can see the depth of all the characters in this book. Even if you’re only with certain characters for a short period of time, they are written in such a way that makes them feel like people you could actually know in real life. Each member of the Ramires family and the Molina family has their own reason for continuing the feud and each justification feels like a legitimate concern. You can understand where the characters are coming from and why their distrust of one another runs so deeply.
This book has a ton of heart without feeling overdone. You empathize with Lari and Pedro as they try to trust one another after years of being told the other one was the enemy. And in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, the forbiddenness of their feelings for one another is what makes them come together to try to end the decades-long feud. Salt and Sugar leaves you feeling satisfied like only a good story can do. You’ll cheer for Lari and Pedro on their intertwined journey long after the last page. A delight from start to finish.
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